Fauquier Pulls Past Rival Liberty
April 7, 2018
Friday night saw one of the oldest rivalries in Fauquier County rekindled as Fauquier High School traveled across town to take on Liberty-Bealeton. The game started as a pitcher's duel and was scoreless through three innings, but a five run fourth inning would help push Fauquier to a 9-4 win.
To start the game, both teams sent younger arms to the mound, with Fauquier sending junior Lane Pearson to the mound and Liberty countering with sophomore Colby Neal. Both pitchers would work around some early jams, but ultimately control the game for the first three innings. Liberty put two in scoring position in the first, but could not push a run across. Fauquier loaded the bases with two outs in the second, but Neal was also able to end that threat as the game entered the fourth inning a scoreless tie.
In the top of the fourth, Troy Smith led the inning off for the Falcons with a double to left. An error then put two runners in scoring position for Fauquier with no outs. After a strikeout, James Swart executed a squeeze, scoring Smith and a second run when the throw to first went up the line. Three batters later with the bases loaded, senior shortstop Blaze O'Saben (UMBC) singled to center and drove in two runs. When the inning finally ended, Fauquier had opened up a 5-0 lead.
The Falcons extended the lead to 7-0 in the top of the fifth when Clay Goff delivered a two-out RBI double to left. In the bottom half of the inning, Liberty got their bats going as an error and a double by Drew Leach scored the first Eagle run of the night. An infield single and a throwing error with the bases loaded pushed two more runs across as Liberty cut the deficit to 7-3, but Pearson was able to end the inning with bases loaded and maintain the four run lead.
Fauquier added two more runs in the top of the sixth and Liberty got one on a balk in the bottom of the seventh to bring the game to its conclusion with a final score of 9-4.
For Liberty, Neal was the losing pitcher, going 5 IP, 7 R, 8 H, 3 BB, 1 HBP, 5 K while also going 0-2 with 2 BB at the plate. Sophomore catcher Logan Rodney was 2-3 with a BB, R, and a SB. Leach was 2-4 with a 2B and an RBI. Brian Storey drew 2 BBs.
For Fauquier, Pearson was the winning pitcher, going 5 IP, 3 R, 7 H, 3 BB, 8 K. O'Saben was 3-4 with a BB, 2 RBI, and 2 SB. Smith was 2-3 with a 2B, 2 BB, 3 R. Cameron Lee was 1-2 with 3 BB, R, and a SB. Goff was 1-3 with a 2B, HBP, and an RBI.
-2020 RHP Neal was 78-81, touching 82 with hard run. Curveball was 68-71 and Change-up was 70-72. Showed strike throwing ability.
-2020 C Rodney was 2.03-2.12 on between inning pops, getting up to 72. In game pops were 2.03 and 2.04, the 2.04 was on a throw that he was interfered with. Short quick line drive swing, barreled ball each time up.
-2019 RHP Pearson was 79-83, touching 84 in the first. Spun a good curveball with 11/5 break at 67-72. Big frame with projection left.
-2018 SS O'Saben (UMBC) is fast, ran a 4.06 home to first, smooth at short, line drive hitter who uses whole field, should hit for high average at next level
-2019 OF/LHP Carson McCusker clean arm action in outfield, has speed on the bases and gets good breaks in center. Short lefty swing with power to pull side, potential two-way prospect.
For full scouting notes and videos, watch for the VA/DC Scout Blog post for this game later this week.
More 2018 HS Notebook